15 December 2017

A COMPILATION, VOLUME 2: THE BAY AREA


Snagged this compilation when it came out in 2012 and it's been a regular staple ever since. Ten electronic, dance and dark synth artists, crowded in the more experimental end of the aural spectrum.  Personal favorites are GROUP RHODA, BRANDON NICKELL, the SURVIVE-esque SSLEEPINGDESIRESS and DESIGN, but I only find one dismissible track in the entire collection. Sweating Tapes appear to have ceased operations, but if only for exposing to me to DEATHDAY and AROHAN I owe them thanks. This comp (and the initial volume, featuring Portland artists) is the icing on the dancefloor. 



14 December 2017

DIALLO


In 1994, FUCKFACE played at the Tune Inn in New Haven, Connecticut with UNDERTOW, BURST OF SILENCE, JASTA 14 and UNBROKEN. We were not well received. In 2001, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? played at the Tune Inn in New Haven, Connecticut with LIFES HALT, DIALLO and some other bands. That show went considerably better for my team, due in no small part to how hard DIALLO fukkn ruled...and a year later my band ARTIMUS PYLE had a split EP with them on Sweden's Busted Heads (several copies currently available for less than $2 on Discogs, or scour your local bargain bin - you shouldn't have to look too hard). I snagged this demo at that show, and the songs are still with me today - "Inherit" gets stuck in my head at least once a month but "A Flag Burns, Shades Of Red" is probably the best of these eight bangers. This demo was released on wax by Germany's Yellow Dog (several copies available for than $2 on Discogs or scour your local bargain bin - you shouldn't have to look too hard), but the important thing is not the format - but the content. They just don't make 'em like this any more....no pretense, just power. 



13 December 2017

DECAY


Pure American DIY filth. The guitars sound like they are are played through speakers made of grocery bags, the vocals are unintelligible grunts, and their forays into aural DYSTOPIA(n) missives often land flat....but holy SHIT does this demo rule. I can only assume this is late '90s, and that must have been an interesting time to be a dirt punk living down the road from Muskegon, Michigan. That dude Nazi Jake was probably around then, and that dude was pretty creepy when I met him in the '00s...but I digress. If your capacity for high energy crust and under the radar grime is high, then this demo is HIGHLY recommended. 











12 December 2017

UNKNOWN ARTIST // UNMARKED CASSETTE


It's been a couple of years since I've posted an unmarked cassette, and I'm guessing that the lack of "cool" will have most visitors moving right on past this one....but the five minutes contained in today's link are such a ruthless punch in the gut, so it's your loss. Gruesomely downtuned powerviolence that sounds distinctly mid-90s (or like BRAINOIL reincarnated as a grindcore band?), with more than one third of the time taken up by the painful midtempo slog of the last track. Six pieces in all, an absolutely fierce slab of filthy hardcore. Nerd headphones on, any assistance would be appreciated...anyone?

UPDATE: It's LANA DAGALES.
UPDATE: I totally should have known that. 

11 December 2017

DIOS MIO


Remember when party thrash was a thing? I mean, it's still a thing - it was a thing (likely) before you listened to it, and it will continue to be a thing long after you stopped thinking it was cool. But remember when YOU listened to party thrash? Check DIOS MIO's "Shit Life" video for a pleasant trip down memory lane, but then click the link below (as you should every day, obviously) and check their 2006 demonstration cassette for eleven minutes of high energy hardcore. The tongue in cheek factor is a little more muted, just some small town Wisconsin kids beating the shit out of their instruments and trying to cop a mosh any way they can. I completely missed seeing this band live, even though I was living a few hours down I-94 during the bulk of their run, but such is life. Choice track here is "Scab," but you'd be wise to jam the whole batch a few times. 


10 December 2017

BALLGAGGER


1990s indie/alt/punk to file alongside BABES IN TOYLAND and/or SMUT except that the guitars are so brutally jangly in a very K Records fashion...and that clashes with the vocal snarls. The juxtaposition is interesting, almost like they were bridging grunge and riot grrl subgenres even they were a few years too late for either to be relevant. But time is a funny thing, and the distance between 1991 and 1996 seems pretty insignificant today, which makes it a little easier to compartmentalize this trio. Aside from a 1997 full length on Theologian and this (very) DIY cassette demo, I can't find anything from BALLGAGGER or the three women involved...


09 December 2017

WALL BREAKER


I've frequently expressed a nostalgic affinity for the Y2K fastcore/thrashcore scene around the turn of the century...the shit was legitimately positive and supportive and the bands were full of energy and even though there was, in retrospect, a lot of darkness lurking in the shadows of that pasty white sausage party, it was pure and genuine fun at the time, and I will always appreciate my connections to it. There's a dude in New Jersey named Ken who feels the same way, and he's putting together a goddamned oral history book about the whole fukkn scene and its far reaching influences. Also, Ken sings for a band called WALL BREAKER....and you can probably guess based on my lumbering preamble what kind of goods they deliver. Ripping, tough as nails and fast as fukk hardcore crosses everything off the checklist in just under seven and a half minutes. For example, you can see the breakdown in "Damaged Mind" coming from a mile away...then when it drops it still catches you by surprise and you want to break shit. This is far from a retro novelty act, WALL BREAKER feels it 100%, and the difference is palpable. 



08 December 2017

WE ♥ KAROLINE


Two of my favorite put this one together for my single favorite person in or around 1999 when we all lived in the same flat on 24th Street. It was a different time...rent was $100/month, Matty was still alive and sharing a room with Matt, who was starting to get pretty good at applying his makeup, Kim was still alive and living in the pantry with Allan, Liz was still getting into fights with the stove and taking comically long baths, and Scottzy's business was booming in the room next to ours. I had band practice three nights a week and we all seemed to work only when and/or if we wanted to. Aesop and Janis made this tape for Karoline...because they loved her (and, I assume, they still do). We kept the tape not just because it's good (it is), but because we love them also. 

For some context, the architects of this collection are Janis (STONE FOX, HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE, FEMME FATALE, PINK, WINTERTHRALL, L7...and others) and Aesop (HICKEY, AGALLOCH, YOGURT, VHOL, LUDICRA, MIAMI....and others). So your collective interest/s should be piqued without me disclosing any specifics about the contents. Enjoy. 

07 December 2017

MONSTER TREASURE


So apparently there's this band called MONSTER TREASURE from Stockton, California. And apparently they have captured the very essence of late '80s/early '90s alt/college rock in all of the best ways. The trappings that bands fall into when they try to phone in this shit....the clichés those bands so easily fall into....those of us where were there can spot a fake a mile away, and it fukkn annoys me. But right out of the gate MONSTER TREASURE seems real, like WEDDING PRESENT and SEBADOH and MERCURY REV at the same time but through a time warp purifier thing that can somehow ensure that they aren't openly aping (or directly acknowledging) any of their influences, they are just embodying the thing...and it's amazing. Just listen to "This" a thousand times (in a row....and today) and you'll know what I mean. This demo is from 2012, there are also two recent full lengths that are very worth your time and attention. 


06 December 2017

LiE


I was super happy that Mau uncovered a handful of these gems before this year's FLIPOUTAA tour in Brasil, and even happier that one of them made it into my hands. LiE were at the forefront of the Y2K fastcore/bandana thrash revival in the late '90s, even though their sound today pretty much presents as hyper speed Japanese hardcore (a testament to the role that fashion and presentation played in that "revival"), and created a healthy splash with their records on 625 Thrash and high energy live shows. Let this 2003 creamer be your reminder: it wasn't all about fashion, it was about a scene, and it was about fukkn shredding the joint....and LiE handled both departments. 

Two members of LiE have been ripping with HAMMER drummer Jun in FLIPOUTAA for over a decade now, and I am extremely stoked that they will be back in North America in early 2018. It never stops...

05 December 2017

FUNERAL LEECH


Just three songs on the FUNERAL LEECH demo released earlier this year, but....fukk. Devastating death doom, and I really look forward to a full length (hopefully?) in the future. It's weird sometimes when you realize that the kids you met when you were little more than a kid yourself are now grown ass men (like yourself), and responsible for things that you can enthusiastically endorse as a fan. Happy to have crossed paths at ABC NO RIO many (many) years ago Lucas, and happy to hold this tape in my hand...it's a fukkn beast. 


04 December 2017

CORPSPAZM


Cavernous and bombastic Southern California raw punk. A few years ago it seemed like some bands was trying to create a kind of terrifying blackened metalpunk vibe while trying to sound like DISCLOSE at the same time...it usually didn't work. But this? It's like black thrash pogo noise not music and brutal DBeat all at the same fukkn time. Listen to "Deceivers" and you'll see/hear what I mean...the straight beat is so fast that it's hard to tell when it morphs into a DBeat, and the vocals are simply deadly. Only a couple of tapes left in their wake from what I can tell, but I've often said that if you aren't going to leave a substantial legacy, then you should at least make sure that legacy is substantial. 




03 December 2017

HVAC


Played with these kids in SF a few weeks ago and was pretty supremely floored. They came out like a bunch of awkward teenagers and just leveled the joint...even the most commanding moments still seemed hesitant in a way that kept even the most engaged attendee on edge. I attended, and I was engaged, and I was on edge. I'm hoping that they recorded some new jammers when they got home from tour, because there's nothing like the road to help a band get tour tight....


02 December 2017

AMERICA '89


Some 28 years ago, friends of mine from another country (future friends of course, I was 17 years old at the time and had one penpal in Tulsa...my punk network was relatively small) toured the United States. A friend of theirs made this mix tape for them to listen to on the long and lonely pre-right wing AM talk radio infested highways in an age of no smart phones and fewer distractions, an age when just making idle conversation and laughing while looking out the window and taking in the landscapes, be they monotonous or majestic, was a perfectly acceptable way to spend a day with your friends and/or bandmates. This isn't just a perfect driving mix, it's also a pretty damn solid slice of what folks were listening to at the time...before the extreme valley between mainstream indie/punk and DIY was fully formed, when bands now considered starter punk were themselves simply starters. I would imagine that most Escape visitors already have (or have heard) most of these tunes, but I give you my word that hearing them in this combination and sequence and context is exceptionally pleasing. My word might not be worth much, of course, but that word, along with a 90 minute mix tape compiled by someone I have never met, is what I have to offer today. 


01 December 2017

THOMAS


This one has been kicking around in various boxes through various moves over the last several years. Long enough that I have no actual clue how it came into my hands (I have a lot of tapes about which I could make the same unfortunate statement), which means I cannot offer any background information or context....which is a shame, because Lost Angeles is a killer.  The phone number on that tape label indicates a pre-internet release date, and the area code (and title) point to Southern California, but otherwise I am simply giving you 60 minutes of gloriously chill independent techno/house music. I listened to this twice last night after I ripped it.